Posted in Parenting

Is Santa Real?

The kids have been watching Christmas movies for several days now and we’ve been talking about Christmas for quite a bit.

Sophea: Mommy, why our house don’t have a Christmas tree?
Me: Because we don’t celebrate Christmas.
Sophea: But I like Santa.
Me: You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to like Santa. A lot of people like Santa.
Sophea: Yes, because he’s so cute.
Me: Hahahaha that’s right. He is cute.
Sophea: Will Santa come to our house?
Me: No. Because Santa is not a real person.
Sophea: Santa is dead?
Me: No, no. Santa is not real because anyone can wear the red suit and be Santa.
Sophea: So Santa is pretending?
Me: Well, Santa can’t pretend because he’s not real. But there are people who wear the red suit and be Santa for other people, especially kids.
Sophea: So Santa is lying?
Me: No, it’s like this. You know how sometimes you guys wear pirate hats and all that and pretend to be pirates? It’s like that.
Sophea: But why people wear a Santa suit?
Me: Because it can make some people happy.
Sophea: What people?
Me: There are people who don’t have enough food or toys. So on Christmas, there are people who wear a Santa suit and give food and toys to these people so they can be happy because sometimes, for them, Christmas is the only time they get more food and toys.
Sophea: But why they have to wear Santa suit? Can they wear a pirate suit?
Me: Yes, they can. It’s just Santa makes a lot of people feel happy. You know how Daddy likes Mommy wears the blue dress? Because it makes Daddy happy to see me? It’s like that. Some people feel happy when they see a person in a Santa suit.
Sophea: If we give food and toys to people, are we Santa?
Me: Maybe they think we are. But we don’t have to wear the Santa suit to give people food or toys.
Sophea: So people wear Santa suit so they can make people see who is in their heart?

At this point, I just can’t. I was literally tearing up because I thought I was teaching her something, but as always, it’s the other way around.

Posted in General, Motherhood

Looks Like 2015 Has Just Started

Oh, wow.

Things have been slow for me.

It seems like finally 2015 has decided to wake up and start. It’s been hell for the past 3 months, and I thought things are going to be the same way as it was last year. But thank God, so far things are finally picking up.

My eldest is starting school next year, and I don’t know who’s more excited. I mean, I’m nervous as hell too, but I’m excited as well because he gets to go to school and see what’s it like for himself. Though we wanted to homeschool him, Eros has been asking about going to school so often that we feel he would not be happy if he doesn’t.

Mohen decided that Eros is going to go to school for the experience. Since both of us are leaning more towards homeschooling and we’re not putting pressure on our kids to get good grades, we feel school would be a good environment for him to develop other skills that we can’t teach at home.

It would be good for him, I believe, because we’re going to teach him more at home and let him have fun at school. I know our schools here pay too much attention on how many As a student gets, but I guess as long as Eros knows we don’t measure him with that, it should be okay for him.

Work is slowly picking up for me too. I’m getting more writing projects, and I’m getting several steady clients. So I guess that’s good. Though I wish I can take a long, long, long break, I know I need to push through at the moment. I can’t wait for Mohen and I to go on a holiday, just the two of us, like how we had our holidays before the kids come along.

I won’t speak too soon to say that 2015 is going to be great for me, but as long as it’s better than last year, I’m happy enough. As long as I have the things that I need to make it through the day, I’m more than happy.

How’s your 2015 looking so far?

Posted in Marriage, Relationship

Dear Some Men,

Dear some men,

 

I know you work hard to provide for the family. I know you have millions of things on your mind about where the money goes and you worry about how much you have left at the end of the month.

 

But take some time to look at your wife.

 

Look at her as a person that’s busting her chops to keep the house clean, look at her as a person that’s running around sending kids to school and going to the market to get groceries and hope she will be back home on time to cook lunch. Look at your wife as the person that wakes up before everyone else and sleeps only after everyone has gone to bed.

 

She looks to you as her support, but do you feel that you’re there for her as much as you expected her to be there for you? She looks to you as her rock, but do you anchor her to her feet so she doesn’t lose her mind or are you only weighing her down?

 

There are so many wives who are depressed because her husband don’t lift a finger around the house. There are so many wives that filed for divorce because she can’t take doing everything on her own when that one person she counts on doesn’t even say thank you for what she does.

 

If you ask her, she doesn’t really care if you make RM1000 per month or RM10,000 at that.

 

She works at the office just as you do too. She gets stressed out over a dumb colleague as well. She gets pissed off at her boss too. She gets caught up in the traffic jam just as you’re making your way home from the office as well.

 

She wants you to see her as a person, as a woman who dedicated her life to serve you and make you happy. She doesn’t want to be made to feel like a maid in her own house. She does the cleaning and the cooking out of love. She understands that’s her job and she understands that you expected her to do all that.

 

She understands what you have to go through and she expects you to understand her as well. She never complains she has to cook, she never complains she has to fold a mountain of laundry, although if you ask her, she would rather sit and do nothing. Of course she would not tell you this because she knows your expectations of her.

 

Just as she expected you to appreciate her. Just as she expected you to hug her and say thank you. Just as she expected you to give her 10 minute break once in a while.

 

Wives know that their husbands can change a diaper, wives know their husbands know where the broom and mop are kept, wives know their husbands can take care of the children and the house without them despite people always degrading men as caretakers.

 

She just wants to know that she’s not alone in this thing because marriage is about working together as a team. Not a one (wo)man show.

 

Just a thank you and a hug will do. And yes, please take out the garbage too, while you’re at it.

 

Posted in Marriage, Motherhood, Parenting, Relationship

Another Year Gone, Another One Approaches

Another few days to 2014.

Where the heck did the time go? I remember when I was little feeling like the year will never end. Now I didn’t even know where each day went.

Despite waking up every morning not knowing whether I can make it through the day with so many things happening around me and challenging me to push through harder than the day before, I’m glad that I always wake up to people that I love – my kids and Mohen.

As I grow older, my new year resolutions get less fancy. I used to want to travel to certain countries before the year ends. I used to want to be able to play the violin before the year ends. Now I just want to make it through the day so my kids have something to eat and so that I’m given another chance to wake up the next day.

Am I scared of 2014?

For the first time in my life, I’m scared of the future. For the first time I feel that fear of not knowing what’s going to happen next. For the first time, I’m scared of “seizing the day”.

While there were so many people that helped me through 2013, I felt that I’ve done my share in helping others too. I helped a depressed friend who was on the verge of suicide, I helped a grieving mother who felt like she wasn’t good enough to be one, I helped a friend who felt he’s worth nothing in this world.

I know I don’t ask anything in return in helping others but I wonder who’s going to save me in 2014. I have never counted on anyone else but myself to make something happen but to be frank, I’ve never felt helpless and hopeless as I did this year.

I guess for 2014 I just want to be able to breathe easy again, to laugh genuinely again, to feel light again and to see Mohen smile again.

I hope I’m strong enough for 2014.

 

Posted in Children, Marriage, Parenting

The Way Kids See It

We were watching Mrs. Doubtfire few nights ago. Robin Williams was packing his stuff in the car and hugging his kids goodbye.

Eros: Where is Daddy going?
Me: He’s going to live in a new house.
Eros: But why?
Me: Because Mommy and Daddy had a big fight so now they want to take time away from each other to think.
Eros: But why?
Me: Sometimes when Mommy and Daddy fight, they can get very angry at each other. So if they are away from each other, maybe they can think better.
Eros: But what about the kids?
Me: Yeah, they have to stay with Nani first.
Eros: But Mommy and Daddy have to stay together.
Me: Not all the time. Sometimes when Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other anymore, they don’t stay together.
Eros: But how can Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other?
Me: Sometimes you stop loving someone after so many things happened and you get tired of fighting. They can become better Mommy and Daddy if they don’t stay together.
Eros: But why Mommy and Daddy fight?
Me: Sometimes because we are tired. Sometimes because we are angry at each other for not being there. Sometimes we just get hurt because we feel alone.
Eros: Hm, why big people like to think so much? Must be like Eros. Eros always angry with Sophia but Eros still love Sophia so much.

I can only nod.

 

Posted in Home Made, Motherhood

Foolproof Sugar Cookies Recipe

Preparation time: 30 – 40 minutes
Cooking time: 15 – 20 minutes

I made some sugar cookies last night.

This recipe is something of my own mix because I’ve been trying several sugar cookies recipes around to see which one I like best. In the end, I made my own mix using the things I like best from each recipe.

I filed it under my Domestic Tab and you can find it here – Simple Sugar Cookies.

For this recipe, I’ve tried changing the normal butter to vegetable butter (in my effort to be a vegetarian) and it tastes just as great. So I guess these cookies are vegan-friendly too!

Posted in DIY

Make Your Own DIY Abstract Painting

I love anything DIY.

I constantly look for anything around the house to repurpose. This week’s art project is abstract paintings that I made with things that cost less than $10.

All I used were:
Art blocks
Old cardboard boxes
Watercolor
Straw
Old pot brush

*I forgot to take a step by step photo because I was too excited to get these done. Sorry. I will remember it next time!

Cut the sides of the cardboard boxes into the size that you want. Here I searched for a large enough box so the sides are the sizes I want. If you can’t find a big enough box, you can get a mounting board and that would work just fine.

Mark the corners of the cardboard on your art block to give you a rough idea of where to paint.

Place art block on easel or flat surface, taped securely on the surface.

Make sure paint is completely dry before placing it on the cardboard.

Making the Art

Give your painting unique texture using daily household items. Here I used an old pot brush.
Give your painting unique texture using daily household items.
Here I used an old pot brush.

 

 Pot Brush Art
1. Dip your pot brush into your palette and dab the art block in any design you like.
2. Wash your brush thoroughly before changing color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blowing paint with a straw is a great old school technique that I love!

 

Straw Art

1. This is a basic art technique taught when I was in kindergarden and I love it!
2. If you never tried it before, you will need a slightly runny paint for this because you want the colors to easily move in the direction  that you are blowing.
3. Place a drop or two of paint onto your art block and blow on it with a straw, creating designs or going along with the direction of the  paint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a video on how to do it if you have never tried it before.

Bold strokes are great to create that abstract painting look.

 

Just Paint

1. This is one is pretty self-explanatory, I know.
2. I grabbed a large paintbrush (or an old blusher brush if you don’t have one!) and just started painting in bold strokes.
3. Mix and match your colors. If you’re not confident with how it will turn out, test on a rough piece of art block first.
4. Once you found your groove, you just let go and paint!

 

Displaying the Art

1. Since you’re using a cardboard box, you need to make your own mounting screw.
2. What I did was:
– Punched two side by side holes on the cardboard
– Weave through a twine
– Knot it!
3. You can also you any type of mounting screw you have. Just make sure you do this before you place the art on top of the board
4. With a spray-on glue or double-sided tape on one side, carefully place your art on the board. I left about two inches of border so I can wrap the edges around the cardboard. It is okay to paint more than the marks you made earlier as it will be folded behind the cardboard anyway
5. If you have the extra borders, carefully fold them to the back of the board as you would wrap a book. Tape securely with sticky tapes.

 

 

 

The great thing about DIY art is that even though you know there are many gorgeous art decors sold at art stores, there’s something about it that makes you proud when looking at it. Plus it would be a great conversation piece when your friends come over to dinner.

Happy painting!